He was an administrator. Very kind and friendly- each time I saw him, he flashed me a great smile. But the third time, when at the IT office, he started speaking to me about how funny it we run into each other so often today! and although we were speaking the same language, we WEREN’T because it took 50% of my jet-lagged brain to comprehend his rapid speech and 50% to finagle some jumbled reply and 10% to stay awake (yes, I am running on 110% right now). So, I just smiled and snuck in a (maybe?) fitting word here and there. English is our common language but dialect and accent are enormously underestimated when comparing the US to the UK!
Have met all of my flatmates and they’re each very friendly! One is another associate student from Vassar (she recognized Wes right off the bat) and the others are Queen Mary students. Three study biochemistry and one English.
I was cooking a rudimentary dinner of spaghetti and garlicky kale when I met my flatmate from Liverpool, Nema (only remember that because I think of nematodes. Bio geek 4 life)
It was during this conversation (and one earlier with other flatmates) that I realized how uncommon it is to know much about New York City when you’re not from the US. I was asked if Manhattan was the capital, if by “3 hours north of NYC” that meant Long Island, among other amusing queries. I know I, too will ask very silly things over the next 5 months as well, but this was a first! (A couple hours later: Just came back from a get-together and when asked where I was from, this one guy was like, “Is that near Albany?” and I was so impressed! Now they all associate me with Albany (half don’t know where it is) but it’s better than NYC! Or is it?)
A funny thing about Queen Mary is that everyone has their own bathroom. Apparently, the British value personal space very much. I was also informed to refrain from speaking to them on the tube! A met a few friends who are here through IFSA-Butler and during their orientation, someone gave them pointers on etiquette.
Here are some pictures of my room (and the infamous bathroom):